Police in Florida have released “shocking” dashcam footage of golfer Tiger Woods being arrested on a DUI charge.
Woods was found asleep behind the wheel of his damaged Mercedes-Benz in the early hours of Monday morning. His car’s engine was still running. He was taken into custody after stumbling his way through a series of roadside tests.
“In more than an hour and a half of video, Tiger is seen swaying, rolling his eyes and falling asleep as police administer field sobriety tests before he was arrested for DUI and taken into police custody,” reports the Daily Mail.
The footage from Florida’s Jupiter Police Department shows “a man struggling to walk and stand on one leg… wobbling on the side of the road and at times confused about officers’ commands,” says CNN.
In the footage Woods doesn’t appear to know which part of the country he’s in, or even what’s happening. At one point he asks the officers “what are we doing?”
The former world No 1 golfer is eventually led away in handcuffs.
Pictures released by police also show damage to Woods’s car, which has two flat tyres on the driver’s side and was discovered by the side of the road.
Woods denied he’d been drinking and a breath test showed no sign of alcohol. The golfer said a mixture of prescription medications was responsible.
The 41-year-old underwent back surgery for the fourth time in three years in April. He hasn’t played since February when he pulled out of a tournament in Dubai with back spasms. The latest operation has ruled him out for the rest of the PGA Tour season.
“He’s a member of our family, and we’re going to do everything we can to help and support him,” he said.
The career of Tiger Wood took another turn for the worse on Monday with his arrest in Florida for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
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Police recorded the arrest at 07:18 local time (11:18 GMT) with the Daily Mail reporting that he was stopped on Military Trail, close to his home in the “elite enclave of Jupiter Island”.
He reportedly became “arrogant” when stopped and now faces a DUI charge and the embarrassing prospect of dashcam footage of his arrest being releases.
“The fallen golfing star currently earns $45.5M-a-year alone in sponsorship money – including more than $20m from his mega-bucks Nike contract – but following his latest public humiliation the 41-year-old could lose lucrative endorsements,” says the Mail.
The arrest will raise more questions about the golfing future of the man who once dominated the sport before his world collapsed in 2009 when it was revealed he had been cheating on his wife.
Prior to the sordid disclosures about his private life, Woods had won 14 majors and was expected to surpass Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 titles. Since the scandal, however, Woods has not come close to winning another Major and he is without a tournament win of any description for four years.
Back injuries have dogged him in recent years, causing him to pull out of April’s Masters at Augusta and leading some to speculate his days on the professional tour may be drawing to a close. Such speculation only increased last week when Woods posted an update on his blog about his recovery from recent back fusion surgery (his fourth such operation since April 2014).
Although he said he remained “positive” he would be back, Woods admitted: “I want to play professional golf again but I’m not looking ahead. I can’t twist for another two and a half to three months. Right now, my sole focus is rehab and doing what the doctors tell me. I am concentrating on short-term goals.”
They wouldn’t have included being arrested on a drink-driving charge, a major embarrassment for a professional sportsman working his way back from serious injury, but in a statement released on Monday evening, Woods said alcohol was not a factor in his arrest. “I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions,” said the 41-year-old. “I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realise the mix of medications had affected me so strongly. I would like to apologise with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans. I expect more from myself too.
“I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again.”